11 December 2013

RIP, The Australian Holden

A sad day for car fans - Holden will discontinue making cars in Australia by the end of 2017. A strong Australian currency, high manufacturing costs and a small domestic market were among the reasons behind GM's decision, and the final straw seems to be the Australian government's decision to cut the amount of subsidies it gives to Holden. As an aside, Ford Australia announced earlier this yeat that it will cease indigenous production in 2016, yet hasn't experienced the ire of the Australian public in the same way that GM has; maybe as they've always been seen as an American company, whereas Holden is regarded as one of their own.
About 2900 Australian jobs will be affected by the decision; 1600 from the Elizabeth plant in Adelaide and about 1300 from Holden's Victorian workforce. Although the Holden brand will stay on in Australia, however all cars would be built overseas.
Holden was founded as a King William St saddlery in 1856; they branched out into automobiles in 1908. As Holden Motor Body Builders, they made bodies for various manufacturers and from 1924, HMBB became the exclusive supplier of car bodies for GM in Australia. The company was taken over by GM in 1931 but still continued to produce bodies for other companies, such as Willys coupés for example. GM ultimately won a subsidy from the Australian government to produce the first Australian-designed car, which emerges as the Holden 48-215, also known as the Holden FX, in 1948.

The end of the road for the big Oz Lions: 1948-2017.

- Amazosan

NB believe it or not, we've had an 'Australian Car Week' planned for ages; more in the new year.

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